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Do you need a lawyer

Sometimes you don’t need a lawyer at all. Sometimes you do and you hire the wrong one. And I’m not – I’m not here to say anything about any other lawyers. We have some very good lawyers in Seattle. I think what differentiates one from the other is the relationship that they can develop with – with the potential client – with the client. Do they care about the client? I’ve actually had attorneys tell me “I love being a lawyer except for dealing with the clients.” [Laughter]

Right, and I look at them and say “are you kidding me?” Without the clients we wouldn’t be in business. That’s what we are. We help our clients. I love every one of my clients even the annoying ones and I have some annoying ones. I love them. I’m sorry but it’s true. You know, but, you know, having been there myself – having been there myself, I understand their fear. I understand their frustration. Going into a personal injury claim on your own is like going into a wilderness, and wilderness isn’t bad but if you don’t know what you’re doing in the wilderness you can get hurt. You can make mistakes.

Several years ago before my son was born my wife and I went to Katmai National Park in Alaska – went to a  place called Brooks camp. Anybody heard of it? Brooks camp is way up in remote – I mean, anybody see the movie grizzly man? This is where grizzly man was filmed, and it’s about a guy who went to live with the grizzly bears. We camped with the grizzly bears for three days. And this place – there’s two lakes separated by about a mile, and there’s a river flowing from one lake to the other and there’s a waterfall about six or eight feet high right in the middle of that river between the two lakes. And in the right time of year the salmon are running and they’re jumping up that waterfall. And the grizzly bears gather around, and there’s some up on top catching them as they jump, and there’s some down below catching the ones who didn’t make it, and there’s – it’s amazing. It’s amazing.

And they limit the number of people there, but there’s a decent number of people there, and there’s trails and boardwalks and there’s a camping area. And if you just look at it you think “I don’t need a ranger here. I don’t need a guide.” I’ll just exercise common sense, right? Don’t sneak up on the bears Don’t sleep with your food. You know, just use common sense and you’re gonna be okay right? WRONG! Because you don’t know where the bears hang out. You don’t know what behaviors agitate the bears. You don’t know what to do if you get charged by a bear.

My wife got charged by a grizzly bear. She was fly-fishing in the middle of the night probably 2:00 in the morning – the Sun never goes down. And she was – I was sleeping in the tent – she was out with the Ranger fly-fishing. And somehow, she got in between a mother bear and the cub. And this Ranger who was out with her, and he was a low talker. Anybody like Seinfeld? Anybody know what a low talker is? This guy was a low talker, like you couldn’t understand a word he was saying. It was really frustrating. And all of a sudden, she started hearing him yell. What was he yelling? Scat! Yeah, he was yelling at the fish Scat! Scat! He cut his bait. He’s slapping his fishing around on the water he’s yelling. And she turned she said I can understand what he’s saying, he’s not a low talker anymore. Maybe something’s wrong. And she turned around and there was the mama bear and there was the baby bear. And the Ranger spooked the baby bear and he ran off. And the mama bear looked at my wife and she looked at the baby running away, and she went after her baby. And she came back to the tent and said “wake up I just got charged by a grizzly bear.” And I was awake.

The point is, there’s nothing magical or mysterious or even secret, although it seems like some people are trying to keep it secret, about the injury claims process. But if you don’t have a knowledgeable guide with you, you can make mistakes. And fortunately, those mistakes probably won’t be fatal when you’re dealing with your injury claim like they could be with the bears. But believe me, when it comes to getting what you deserve, making sure that your rights are protected, those claims adjusters are just as dangerous as those grizzly bears. And you need a guide. You need a guide with you.